Collecting: Funerary

Caption to come

“Margaret, relict of the late Charles Jeffrey”

I love paper, I love type, and I love printing. Ephemeral items comprising any of those elements will attract my attention.

Caption tk

In Victorian times, black borders were used on personal correspondence until mourning ceased.

So when I found a pile of funeral notices from the 1880s and 90s at Chief Salvage I couldn’t resist taking them home and pouring over them like an old novel. Aside from their typographic beauty, the individual notices contain so much mystery!

Caption tk

These are all folded pieces of paper; the folded leaf is blank

Who were these people? How did this little collection of notices survive? Who collected them?

Caption tk

I think these two are my favourites

Here is a close-up of the one on the left:

Look how beautiful that type is!

Gorgeous typography

Notice how large the full-stops and commas are and their skewed positioning in the close-up above. Shortage of type for the press or a new type trend?



If you hold them up to the light, you can see how beautiful the paper is. In the last two photos, you can see the watermarks:


I photographed these against a window, to bring out the watermarks


Most are from Cannington, and surrounding areas, about an hour’s drive, north of Toronto. I think a visit to the cemeteries mentioned in these notices is in order this Spring. So, stay tuned for part two!

About Ian Phillips Illustration

I am an illustrator and book designer. View all posts by Ian Phillips Illustration

One response to “Collecting: Funerary

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: